Advance Summary of Findings

In document Nasir Abbas Syed Gul Hasan (Page 155-160)

of English and Urdu

2. Recent Studies of Iconic Gesture

3.6 Advance Summary of Findings

Fig 5

3.6 Advance Summary of Findings

The present study found that Urdu and English are not only different in syntactical construction of the manner of motion events but also they differ in representation of these events. English describes manner of

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motion event in the main verb and for path a satellite phrase is used.

Urdu expresses the same event in two different clauses, one for manner and the other for motion. As predicted before, we see that Urdu speakers encode manner and path in two different clauses; similarly they produce two separate gestures, one for manner of motion and one for path. Similarly the English speakers also behave as predicted before, they encode the manner of motion event to goal in one clause and one manner and path conflated gesture. The present study also suggests that with the change of preference in encoding of motion events, the gestural representation also changes.

3.6.1 Group A L1 English Crossing event

The English participants syntactically encode the crossing event into single clause, accompanying manner and path conflated gesture. They used different verbs to describe the target event e.g.

i. He danced over the bridge.

ii. He hops over the bridge.

They encoded the manner of motion verbs such as dance, hop and for path they used over. It can be seen that all L1English participant (10/10) participants produced manner and path conflated gestures.

3.6.2 Group B L1 Urdu Crossing event

All Urdu speakers described in speech the crossing event in two separate clauses and they also produced two separate manner and path gestures, e.g.

i. (wo) khushi say o chalta ,nachta howa pull cross kr gea.

Happily (part) tossing, dancing (part) bridge cross (past).

Happily he crossed the bridge dancing while tossing (the money).

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It was expected two separate gestures one for manner and one path only from the all L1 Urdu speakers, which they did in re-telling the story.

Thus, 10/10 participants produced separate gestures to describe the manner of motion events to goal.

Table A

Participants Path only Manner only Path and Manner

conflating

Group A 0 0 100%

Group B 100% 100% 0%

The table A shows in a simple way the result in percentages. All the English native speakers produced synchronised gestures for path and manner. Conversely, all native Urdu speakers used two separate

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gestures, one for manner and one for path; therefore, they did not produce any synchronised gestures.

4. Discussion

Gestures accompanying manner of motion event descriptions used by native speakers of Urdu and English

The video clip which was shown to the participants contains concurrent manner of motion and path event, and the gestural representation of the target event by both of L1 Urdu and L1 English speakers show a clear line of cross-linguistics variation in English and Urdu in gestural representation of the target events (English as satellite framed language and Urdu as verb framed language). Both languages are found to be different not only in encoding of the target events in syntactical structures but also in the representation of iconic gestures. L1English speakers express motion event in the main verb and for path they use a satellite phrase, while L1Urdu speakers on the other hand in the description of motion event to goal used such syntactic constructions where they employ two different clauses, one for manner of motion and one path or trajectory.

The participants of L1 English group produced 10 manner and path conflated gestures, while the participants of L1 Urdu produced 10 manner of motion only and 10 path only gestures (each participant was producing two gestures one for manner of motion only and one for trajectory /path only). This indicates that there exists a crucial difference between these two languages in the representation of the manner of motion events. It is supposed that this difference might be viewed in more lucid way if the same study would have been carried out on a large scale. Thus by results of the present study, it might be argued that one of the findings, in the context of Urdu and English, is the existence of cross-linguistic variation in the production of iconic gestures. The language we speak influences the contents of iconic gestures; in this reference it can be seen that the early assumption was that the iconic gestures for the same event are similar cross-linguistically. McNeill (1992) showed by comparing iconic gestures produced by speakers of Georgian, Swahili, and Mandarin Chinese and English. He found these results after making his participants to watch an animated cartoon. He suggests that the important point about iconic

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gestures is their (participant) high degree of cross-linguistic resemblance. In a same content, similar gestures may appear along with linguistic segments of an equivalent type, despite the major lexical and grammatical differences among the languages. He concludes that this resemblance suggests that the gesture emerges at a level where utterances in different languages have a common starting point thought, memory, and imagery (McNeill, 1992, pp. 221–222 cited in Kita and Özyürek, 2003). Nevertheless, later his own work (McNeill, 2000;

McNeill & Duncan, 2000) and other work (Müller, 1998) revealed that iconic gestures can vary cross-linguistically. In this context it is observed that Urdu and English encode the same manner of motion events in different iconic gestures. All L1 Urdu speakers encode the target events in two separate clause accompanying two separate gestures. On the other hand English L1 speakers show strong tendency to produce manner and path conflated gestures. So the notion that languages differ in encoding of the same event in variant gestures may have been support by the preset study.

English participants described the manner of the motion in verbs like, hop, danced for the crossing event and they indicated path by satellite phrases such as over and across and their iconic gestural representation was manner and path conflated. L1Urdu speakers behave, as it was predicted before that Urdu being typologically different to English language should encode the target event in two separate clauses, and the results proved our prediction. All L1Urdu speakers encode the target events in two separate clauses, where one describe the manner of motion and other path, similarly their gestural representation accompany the same lexical patterns, thus all Urdu native speakers produced two separated gestures. For example one of the participants uttered this sentences,

(i) (wo) khushi say o chalta ,nachta howa pull cross kr gea.

Happily (particle) tossing, dancing (particle) bridge cross (past).

Happily he crossed the bridge dancing while tossing (the money).

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L1 Urdu speakers encode the manner and motion event in two separate clauses. First the figure is crossing the bridge and the other clause informing us about the manner. The gestural encoding was the same pattern, one for manner of motion and another for path.

The differences in both languages have some more dimensions, for instance, we found that L1English participants used more free space in gesturing than L1 Urdu speakers.

During the production of iconic gestures it was observed that L1Urdu speakers were not waving their hand and arms over their shoulders like L1English speakers. This phenomenon can be interpreted in many ways. It as a cultural difference and influence of the respective languages, which are spoken within different communities. English people are more elaborative and expressive in telling stories than Urdu speakers. There is another interpretation that some participants get confused in front of camera so they did not gesture freely as they do in real life, and because English speaking nations are more advanced than Urdu speakers, so they feel free in front of cameras. Urdu speakers suffer from what may be called on line camera phobia. Coming back to the discussion, it is assumed that the space that a speakers covers during gesturing may lead us to understand some aspect of the differences in the production of the gestures which may have a remote link to the cultures in which the languages survives, and how culture may influences the gestural representation of manner of motion events, and also production of the gestures.

5 Conclusion

In document Nasir Abbas Syed Gul Hasan (Page 155-160)